Gnomes can't handle their weapons. At least not in the Wrath beta. In a strange graphics glitch, gnomes of certain classes look as if their swords are glued to the backs of their hands instead of being grasped. The glitch occurs whether fighting or not. It doesn't happen with Warlocks, who hold their weapons correctly, but I was able to replicate it with a Rogue and there are Warrior screenshots elsewhere on the web. Some players are even reporting that their offhand weapon is floating away and seeming to fight by itself. Blue forum poster, Gradina, says that Blizzard knows about the issue and is working on a fix.
Now in the meantime, I think a little creativity is called for. Instead of stabbing or slicing with your sword, you could slap mobs upside the head. (Who doesn't like the phrase "upside the head"?) Or, you could spin around really quickly, Whirlwind style, and scrape everyone on the ankles, thereby cutting them down to your size. Maybe for the female gnomes out there, you could use your weapon as a mirror for smoothing out split ends after a fight. And if your offhand weapon gets frisky and floats away? Take some time out for a bite of toast or to smell the roses while your extra weapon does all the work.
We always love to hear about cool roleplay events, and it looks like there's a particularly cool one coming up over on Steamwheedle (Horde-side) on October 11th. Their Caer Darrow inspired Dance of the Dead looks like it's got a lot going on -- a costume contest, a dueling event, some fortune telling and a midnight toast. But they have a couple events that really raise the bar for organizing a roleplay extravaganza -- a "Corrupt a Wish" contest and a Wild Hunt. The Corrupt a Wish seems cool. You make a wish in two sentences, and a winner is chosen to have the wish come true. (I imagine they want you to keep it reasonable, though.) The trick comes in that your wish gets twisted into a nightmare version.
The even cooler event, though, is the Wild Hunt. They've captured some Alliance members (volunteer roleplayers), who've been stripped of their uber gear. Through the night, the Alliance will be released into the wild, wearing only some gray and white items. The Horde will go on a Wild Hunt to find and kill the Alliance members. To complicate the hunt, the Alliance victims do have allies -- rescuers who're wandering the Plaguelands looking for their lost kin.
This event looks really well-planned, and it makes me wish I had an Alliance character myself on Steamwheedle. You can contact Banshih for more details if you're Horde, or Charam if you're Alliance.
World of Warcraft comic hardcover collection reviewed - Tue, 09 Sep 2008 17:00:00 EST Well, I admit it: I've been reading the World of Warcraft comic (I'm up to issue ten) and enjoying it as a light bit of fantasy fare with lots of nice nods to the lore of the game. It's not trying to be more than that, I don't think, perhaps wanting to leave some room for this Wednesday's Ashbringer comic. However, it was news to me that there's a hardcover collection of the series out. Of course, where I fail, the folks at Blizzplanet succeed in not only knowing it was out, but in giving it an in-depth review.
The review is positive, and the special goodies of concept sketches, Blizzcon exclusive issues and what sounds like a solid layout and design make me seriously consider saving my gold (I need real life daily quests) to pick this up. Feel free to head over to Blizzplanet and see if you agree with that sentiment.
We know a second pass is coming. As good -- or bad -- as everything might seem right now, Paladins have yet to get another look from the developers and as Ghostcrawler mentioned on the forums earlier, they're nearing finalizing those changes soon. A few days back, Blizzard asked the players for feedback on all three trees, and it looks like all those constructive comments are finally going to see some results.
The good thing is that, despite all our misgivings about how the class has been handled all these years, it seems that Blizzard is finally listening. Holy wanted ways to be more mobile and have group healing utility... the WrathBeta brings creative ways to solve that with instant Holy Lights and double duty healing. Protection needed stat consolidation badly, for starters, and it's slowly moving that way with Stamina granting spell power through Touched by the Light. Retribution needed raid utility among other things, and Blizzard is shaping up the spec to be a mana battery like Shadow Priests (and Survival Hunters). It's not everything players have wished for, but it's pretty darn close and there's no doubt that we're moving in the right direction.
After the false alarm a few days ago, premade characters are available for copy to the US Wrath beta PvP realm Murmur. (Apparently, the realm was called "Murmer" up until a few hours ago. I guess Blizzard decided on a last minute spell check.) I have firsthand knowledge that the character copy now works because I copied three toons this morning and less than two hours later they are now playable. If you have a beta key and you want to play on the PvP server, keep in mind a few things:
You can only choose all Horde or all Alliance toons because it's a PvP server.
This server is designed to test Wintergrasp. Other PvE areas like Azeroth and Outland may not be available for play on this server.
If you like Night Elves, you're stuck playing a Druid. Dwarves, on the other hand, get a choice of three classes (Hunter, Priest, or Warrior). Every other race gets two classes each.
Right now the wait time is only a couple of hours. It will get longer as more people copy toons. So go over there ASAP.
Commenters have (sad to say, rightly) accused me of a US bias in my posts so I did some extra research on the this topic for our EU readers. The EU servers do not have premade templates available because -- at the moment, at least -- there is no Murmur-equivalent beta realm available to them. Sorry, folks. We'll keep you posted if that changes.
This one's just for the Disney World fans out there -- down in the Orlando resort, there's apparently a club on "Pleasure Island" called the Adventurers Club that offers shows and drinks every night for Disney's adult visitors. Just like most of the stuff at Disney's theme parks, the club has quite a following, and apparently Blizzard devs are part of it. One of the Club's signature drinks, the Kungaloosh, has made its way into the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. This unofficial Disney newsletter has more -- apparently the drink is a cooking recipe that's similar to the real-world recipe. Definitely a fun little Easter egg for Disney and Adventurers Club fans (and a nod to the sad closing of the club -- Disney announced in July that they plan to close it later this month).
Unfortunately, there is no Adventurers Club at Disneyland (located in Anaheim, where Blizzard is and where BlizzCon will be held), which is too bad, because we here at WoW Insider are in the middle of looking for a location for our BlizzCon meetup. Last year, we held it at The Lost Bar, and that worked pretty well, but if anyone knows of a better location around the Anaheim Convention Center (or even better, if anyone works at Disneyland and wants to offer up a great location for us to bring a bunch of WoW Insider readers), definitely drop us a tip. It would be great to find a place where we could actually drink Kungalooshes (or any other drink, really, we're not too picky) while meeting up with all of our favorite readers during BlizzCon.
15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes - from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.
Are server firsts worth pushing for - really pushing for, as in four hours a night, five times a week, for a month and a half? For Havoc-A of Cairne, time had no bearing as they raced from Karazhan to Illidan a mere six weeks after forming their guild. They pushed through the content so quickly that some members were still sporting blues when they first met Illidan. The team racked up a list of server firsts during its ascent: first Illidan kill, first off-hand Warglaive (maybe a server first Legendary), first Zul'Aman bear mount, and Alliance firsts for Azgalor, Archimonde and last half of Black Temple bosses.
Now that the guild has had time to come down from the high, we wondered, do they think it was all worth it? Signs point to yes: the guild's GM, Meliadoul, is still waxing rhapsodic over the team's accomplishments, the bonds formed and the pride that carried them forward as a group. 15 Minutes of Fame visited with Meliadoul to find out the root of Havoc's need for speed.
Heard about Warhammer Online, but the thought of a whole new virtual world to get lost in frightens and confuses you? Worry not -- our good friends at Massively (like WoW Insider, but for all MMOs) have you covered. Just in time for the impending Warhammer Online release, they've posted a WoW player's guide to Warhammer Online. With their in-depth guide, you can take all that knowledge you've racked up about Azeroth and its inhabitants, and carry it right on over to Altdorf and the rest of the world of Warhammer.
Need a class translation guide, or want the lowdown on what quests and crafting are like? Perhaps the biggest difference between WoW and WAR is a bigger emphasis on PvP of all kinds, and Massively's got the story for you on that as well. If you've been interested in checking out Warhammer at all (or if a few friends have mentioned they're switching), this guide will bring you right up to speed.
Of course, even EA admits that Warhammerwon't really be a rival to World of Warcraft, but there's no question that the game has already influenced how even Blizzard makes its games, so no matter how many players choose to cross over, there's no question the new MMO on the block is going to make a splash. The game comes out in just over a week on September 18 -- if this guide has piqued your interest, stay tuned to Massively for more on what's up with the game and its release.
Yesterday, I issued the call for artistic PvP videos. TotalBiscuit then reminded me that I had yet to feature one of his favorite machinimas, Wings for Hector. Dating back over two years, Wings certainly isn't the most current movie out there, but it was highly favored in its time.
Hector and Eulogie, the creators of Wings for Hector, mixed Rogue PvP with cut-scenes and a rockin' soundtrack to bring the audience heart-pumping action. Coming in at just under 12 minutes, this video isn't for the faint of heart, or those prone to seizures. The aspect ratio jumps around quite a bit, but so do the flashing images. Viewers be warned that there are mild subliminal elements, but hopefully that won't stop you from enjoying this trip down memory lane ...
Moonkins aiming to get DPS and group utility - Tue, 09 Sep 2008 11:30:00 EST Paladins weren't the only ones to get some attention from the crab last night. The Balance Druid post wasn't an especially information-filled post, but mostly served as a reminder that even though the devs may not respond to your threads, they are paying attention. Ghostcrawler explains that whlie she may be focusing more heavily on Feral Druids, that doesn't mean she isn't aware of Balance's needs. She clarifies their role in a raid (caster, duh), and states a Moonkin's needs to meet that role. She lists the following:
Competitive dps. Mages and warlocks just tend to get a lot of attention, maybe because there are more of them, or more races of them, or they are more archetypal classes (in the familiarity sense).
Good AoE utility. Encounters and dungeons tend to get designed with the assumption that the ranged DPS can do AoE. Hurricane is phenomenal now. I healed a run today and did really competitive dps with Hurricane on the ranged pulls. And I wasn't even Balance! I love Starfall. It's a rare spell because it feels new -- it isn't single target and it isn't classical Hurricane-style AoE either.
We'll start out today with a simple enchanting question from WarwolfSwe, who asked....
Is there and new rod for enchanting? And do i need to upgrade the standard Runed Adamantite Rod to a Runed Eternium Rod?
There is now a Runed Eternium Rod you can craft at 375 skill. And, yes, it does require a Runed Adamanite Rod to craft (though the other materials -- Greater Planar Essence and Primal Might may be placeholders, as they seem pretty old world-y).
For more of your beta questions -- and our beta answers -- read on! But if you're the sort who wants to avoid spoilers, turn back now. We're aiming to avoid major story spoilers, but this feature is all about beta content and we can't talk about the beta without giving a few things away.
Ghostcrawler's late night Paladin news - Tue, 09 Sep 2008 10:30:00 EST Ghostcrawler displays her dedication yet again as she popped up on a few of the Wrath of the Lich King Beta forums in the wee hours of the morning today. Or would that be late last night? What does 2 AM qualify as, again? Anyway! Ghostcrawler popped into the Paladin forums to check in with some concerned players, and brought some fun news. She says herself that it may not be 100% what Paladins want, but it should prove to be good stuff regardless. Let's dig right into it, shall we?
We'd like to do something else with Kings. I don't know that a core ability is the answer, but burying it deep in Prot, when Prot paladins would just as soon play with BoSanc, doesn't feel great either.
We'd like to mess around with the top 2 tiers of all 3 trees, still encouraging you to cross-spec a little, but making that initial bite into the upper tier more tasty instead of just an icky appetizer to get the what you really want down deeper
I'm not sure where Dreambolt is in this picture, but wherever she is, she won't be there for long. What caused this situation? Flying mount crash? Shipwreck? Lost a duel with a fire mage? Unless there's a sudden rescue by Azeroth Life Flight (made up of engineering priests, naturally), she's sunk.
Do you have any unusual World of Warcraft images that are just collecting dust in your screenshots folder? We'd love to see it on Around Azeroth! Sharing your screenshot is as simple as e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your shot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could be featured here next!
Remember to include your player name, server and/or guild if you want it mentioned. We strongly prefer full screen shots without the UI showing -- use alt-Z to remove it. Please, no more sunsets.
If it's Tuesday (it is, right?), it must be time for another Caption This! contest.
Here's how the story goes: I post a picture during Tuesday maintenance. You write a humorous caption for this picture by Friday, September 12 at 11:59 PM EST. It could be a funny description of the situation or a quote that you imagine the characters in the screenshot saying. Examples of previous winners can be found here, here and here. Leave your captions in a comment on this post, and keep it clean -- if Blizzard would warn you for saying it in-game, don't enter it in the contest. During the weekend, I e-mail the post to our list, members of the WoW Insider team respond with their favorites, and ten of those favorites will be chosen for the final vote. On Tuesday morning, we put the top ten up for a public vote in a new post. Voting ends Wednesday, September 17 at 11:59 PM EST. After the voting, we notify the winners. If they respond to our e-mail and confirm that they're eligible to win, we mail out their prizes and write a "winner" post whenever we get both responses.
And what are these prizes, you ask? Well, first place winner gets a 60-day game card, worth approximately $30. And the second-place winner will get his choice of an Eastvale Logging Camp or a Camp Taurajo ringer shirt from J!NX, worth about $20.
However, to win you have to be eligible -- and to be eligible, you have to be a U.S. or non-Quebec Canadian resident at least 13 years of age. Sorry, EU and Oceanic readers, but legal restrictions make it impossible to include everyone. The official rules for the contest can be found here. Read them or be stuck on the WoW general forums for all eternity!
This picture, featuring a most unusual fel orc, comes from the official WoW screenshot archives. Click here for a larger version. Good luck, and remember to keep the entries PG-13.
I really liked the idea of the boat crews when they were so briefly implemented before. It was nice to be able to repair or get supplies en route without having to wander all over tarnation to get them, especially if the boat was headed to a discombobulated destination like Booty Bay. And when you'd never been to the boat's destination before, it saved a lot of time. Plus, the goblin crews were just hilarious and I liked watching their banter. So I was very disappointed when they went poof on the live realms.
You can also stay mounted on the boats and zeps now, which is quite convenient. (And, by the way, you can stay mounted in Booty Bay now too!) The crews are level 40 which makes them easily raidable. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the goblins on the Horde boats are there for the humor but it seems like the humans on the Alliance boats are very serious about their jobs. We've seen some legacy testing items in the Wrath beta -- like the materials quartermasters from 2006 which are still in the beta but not in the live game -- so I hope the crews aren't just leftovers from previous beta builds that Blizzard has no intention of rolling out in Wrath (or in the upcoming patch). We'll just have to wait and see.
Just this morning, a good friend of mine asked me a pretty fun question: If you were a quest NPC in WoW, what kind of quests would you give? What about if your guild was a faction like Honor Hold or the Cenarion Expedition, what would their purpose be? What kind of daily quests would 'your' faction offer?
I actually really enjoy this question, because it's one of those things that you can let your mind soar with if you're a roleplayer. My main (and my guild) are very anti-Scourge and pro-reclaiming (and colonizing) Northrend, so Wrath is a fun time, and perfect for envisioning my guild in that sort of position. My character would probably do something dungeon-related, maybe in Icecrown, where the Scourge population is thickest. I could definitely see an escort-style quest, where my usual 5-man group in NPC form fought alongside a 5-man group of players in a Zul'farrak style encounter, fighting off waves of undead. After that encounter, those NPCs would 'hold off' more Scourge while the main party forges ahead to take out the boss and save the day.
Good Tuesday Morning, everyone. It's a normal maintenance day today, from 5 AM - 11 AM PDT, so we'll all have plenty of time to browse WoW Insider this week. This week was pretty big on Warcraftcakes for some reason, and also featured yet another Beta build. Look below for more of the latest and greatest WoW news of the past week:
Hot News and Features
As always, be sure to check out our Ask a Beta Tester articles for the answers to your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King Beta.
Still looking for a place to camp out at midnight on Wrath release day? How about the 7-11?
Metamorphosis feedback wanted - Tue, 09 Sep 2008 00:30:00 EST For all of you Warlock beta testers out there, Ghostcrawler is looking for your help! Since the Wrath Beta began, Metamorphosis has been one of those abilities that sound cool in theory, but the application was totally wrong, more or less. Ghostcrawler has put out a call for focused, constructive feedback on the ability. When you head over there, keep in mind that Ghostcrawler wants feedback specifically about Metamorphosis in this thread, and 'get rid of it' isn't constructive feedback. Those of you not beta testing may be interested in the thread as well, since it might be a pretty strong indicator of where Demonology will end up.
The most common feedback I've seen is that the ability renders most of your other talent points null and void for the duration of the transformation, rather than synergizing with them. I find myself agreeing with that wholeheartedly. It's an interesting concept, but no top end talent should nullify everything before it unless it's good enough to make up for all of those talent points you lost. Metamorphosis definitely does not have 51 talent points baked into it, and I'd say it would be impossible to even do that.
Ah, world PvP. In many ways, world PvP can be considered the purest form of PvP because when it happens -- if it's not done in association with a quest or other form of reward -- it is PvP for the sake of PvP. Some of the best times I've ever had doing PvP was in Hillsbrad Foothills, defending Tarren Mill and attacking Southshore. I miss the times when the World Defense channel would be flooded by calls to defend the Crossroads. There's also something very pure about coming to the aid of a faction leader under assault. And when Wrath of the Lich King finally arrives, I have a good feeling it's going to happen a lot more often.
I wrote about the many Achievements related to PvP, such as the retroactive Achievements that you can work on before Patch 3.0 hits, as well as the numerous Battlegrounds Achievements. Although PvP for the sake of PvP is extremely fun, Achievements will actually reward something that previously never got anything more than bragging rights and a silly grin. Today we'll look at the numerous Achievements that work to encourage world PvP.
I think I've lost count of the ongoing tally between the Alliance and Horde cakes over here at WoW Insider, although I can say for certain that I've never actually eaten a WoW-themed cake (bummer!). Reader Steve tipped us in to a cake that doesn't side with either the Horde or Alliance, but features the two continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms (Northrend didn't make the cut, apparently).
While a map and faux faded parchment colors probably don't help make a visually appetizing cake -- the lower right of the cake is actually the Naga depicted on the world maps, don't worry about the green -- this literally sweet gesture was made by WoW widow girlfriend Natalie for her man Sean's 21st birthday. Sean plays on the Bronze Dragonflight EU and held a party for his guildies in May Contain Funk where this edible Azeroth was unveiled. According to Steve, the cake was vanilla sponge with raspberry jam and was, "absolutely delicious". Since those guys didn't send us a slice, we'll just have to take his word for it!
[UPDATE: Reader Alex3 sent in a picture of his friend Woo's birthday cake made by Woo's awesome mom -- a Warlock icon cake that looks delightfully, infernally scrumptious! Man, I'm hungry now. Check out the gallery for all the awesome Warcraft-themed cakes we've seen over here at WoW Insider.]